Business Lessons I Learned From Billy Graham, the Evangelist and Tech Geek
Not a bad innings.
Pretty good, actually.
At age 99, Billy Graham has finally gone to meet his friend, Jesus, whom he preached about for many decades.
There’s a lot being said about him… his life… his integrity… his ministry… his servant heart… those he impacted…
So I’m not going to talk about that.
“What? Isn’t that disrespectful, David?”
Nope. Instead, I’m going to look at Billy Graham the Tech Geek.
“Uh? Tech Geek? At 99?”
Billy Graham, The Tech Geek
Billy Graham was very advanced in his thinking.
He used cutting-edge technology to share his life-changing message around the world.
Even in 1989, Billy Graham used satellite technology to deliver his message into numerous venues in the UK.
We even had a big screen right in a civic hall right in the centre of Wigan!
Cutting edge technology – especially for the 1980s.
In the early 1990s, Billy Graham planned another satellite broadcasting event.
So our church bought a huge satellite dish and kit.
I remember it well. The dish was about 2 metres in diameter.
“Hey, David. You work with all that TV malarkey, don’t you?”
I knew what was coming.
“Can you set all this lot up?”
Somehow I managed to get the dish on the roof and aligned, and ran the drop-cable into the large black receiver.
But the loud buzzing noise told us something was wrong.
They’d sent us the German version of the receiver.
Without getting too technical, in ye olde analogue days the sound in the UK TV broadcasting system was a bit further away from the vision than in the German system.
So our German box was putting the sound in the wrong place.
“What can we do, David?”
It was too late to have another one delivered.
The solution involved connecting up a trusty old video-cassette-recorder and using its modulator to create a useable signal.
Hey – we couldn’t let Billy Graham down by having the technology fail on our side!
Over the next few nights, lots of people turned in Wigan up to hear Billy Graham speak all the way from America… via the miracle of satellite.
This was technology at its best.
Billy Graham at TED
Speaking at a TED Conference in 1998, approaching age 80, Billy Graham marvelled at technology’s power to improve lives and change the world.
I watched it on the internet whilst researching for this article – and it suddenly occurred to me that, even after death, Billy Graham was still using bang-up-to-date technology to talk to us.
Something else which struck me was that the audience had not come to hear a preacher. But they gave Billy Graham a long applause after his talk.
Because he understood the importance of technology.
And he spoke their language.
What We Can Learn from Billy Graham
So what can we learn from this Tech Geek called Billy Graham?
Let me ask you…
- What do you love to do?
- How can you use technology to do it?
Let’s imagine for a moment that Billy Graham is still alive, has stepped into a Tardis, and has suddenly reappeared back in 2018 – but as a 30-year-old.
What will this energetic, enthusiastic, 30-year-old guy who loves to preach, do?
Here’s what I reckon…
- He’ll use Facebook: a personal account… business page… community group… Facebook ads…
- He’ll chat on Twitter.
- He’ll post pictures and infographics on Instagram.
- Maybe he’ll even use SnapChat if he can get to grips with it.
- “A new one? Yes, sign me up for Vero!”
- Website, Emails, Facebook Messenger, Google ads, SEO…
And that’s just for starters.
The Problem With Technology
“The problem is not technology,” said Billy Graham.
“The problem is the person or persons using it.”
The problem is not technology. The problem is the person or persons using it.
Let’s not be the problem.
Let’s use technology to bring the solution.
Whether you’re a business person, an employee, a teacher or a preacher…
Make technology your friend.
Bring some solutions
And make the world a much better place.
Just like Billy Graham did.
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